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Target-Setting, Increased Productivity, Self Improvement and More Tips for January

For Better or Worse, January has become about goal setting for the year ahead.




Target-Setting, Increased Productivity, Self Improvement and More Tips for January

TARGET-SETTINGSet a Real Stretch Goal

2022 is here and with it, normalcy. We hope. That means setting targets for a fairly regular year and then hoping your staff can just beat them. Or giving your people “5% stretch goals” and seeing if through extra hard work and efficiency they can attain them. But what if you told them to improve their performance by 30%? Then no longer will the same old approach, no matter how much harder they work, be effective. They would have to rethink totally about how they go about hitting their numbers. And that’s the idea — to kick-start innovative thinking, you have to first destroy the old ways of doing things.


When brainstorming, improvising, jamming with others, you’ll go much further and deeper if you build upon each contribution with a playful “yes — and” example instead of a deflating “no — but” reply, says WIRED co-founder Kevin Kelly on his blog.


We nearly all use them, but to-do lists don’t have a great record. Studies show the vast majority of items never get done.


MANAGEMENT Choose Growth

It can be tempting to refrain from delivering even mild criticism out of the fear you’ll hurt someone’s feelings. But withholding feedback is choosing comfort over growth, says Adam Grant, a professor at Wharton business school and author of Think Again. “Staying silent deprives people of the opportunity to learn. If you’re worried about hurting their feelings, it’s a sign that you haven’t earned their trust. In healthy relationships honesty is an expression of care,” he says.

MANAGEMENTStart a Tradition

Barbara Bradley Baekgaard, co-founder and CEO of fashion brand Vera Bradley, has maintained a personal touch throughout the retailer’s impressive growth to half a billion in annual sales. When the company first started, the leadership would put $50 in employees’ birthday cards with a note that said: “This has to be spent on you.” As the company has expanded to 3,000 employees, there’s still a $50 bill in each card.


It’s that time of year when people make vows to break unhealthy habits. In his classic guide to the mental side of peak performance, The Inner Game Of Tennis, W. Timothy Gallwey argues that “There is no need to fight old habits … Start new ones instead.” Donuts with your afternoon coffee killing your diet? Start a habit of leaving the store and walking around the block as soon as you feel the 2 p.m. blahs coming on.

communicationGo Bland

When choosing a virtual wardrobe for an online presentation, think bland. “Avoid loud clothes and busy patterns to minimize distraction and allow them to focus on the (eyewear products) you’re showing or wearing,” says Kate Peterson, founder of Performance Concepts.

motivationValue Calls

Whatever your numbers last year, you’re back to zero. To get psyched up, try a trick used by insurance sales vets: Work out how many times in the past year you sought out a customer, and attach a dollar value to it. How? Take the sales you made by making those calls/e-mails/handshakes and divide it by the number of times you proactively sought out a customer. When you’re uninspired think of that figure. That’s what every unsuccessful phone call or e-mail is worth.




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